Translaw Act in Finland opens door for gender reassignments in minors


Northern Europe

Photo AFP, Oscar del Pozo

Finland’s Translaw Act has drawn criticism from leaders in the nation’s Christian Democrat party (CD).

The Translaw Act, which seeks to affirm gender-based changes, lacks common sense and is poorly drafted, according to the CD chairman, Sari Essayah. She also said to KD-Lehti that the newly passed law contains “obvious problems and contradictions,” as gender is emphasised in some areas, but remains ambiguous in others.

Disconnecting such a central concept of legislation and everyday life from the reality of biology and physiology is so fundamental that the bill would have deserved a much more in-depth impact assessment, Essayah said.

Another concern was that the new law would make it easier for young people to assume a new gender identity without identifying possible mental health conditions. According to Essayah, once a person has decided on their “subjective experience of gender identity,” this would be recorded in official population data. Members from the CD party have raised questions on the usage of such data and why it may be necessary.

“Other information about a person's identity is not stored in the population data either. In Finland, everyone is allowed to express their own gender in the way they want - this is clearly within the scope of freedom of expression,” she said.

Chairwoman, Päivi Räsänen, also said to KD-Lehti that she is sad and disappointed after the Social and Health Committee “gave the green light” after a majority vote of 11-5. Despite the law’s recent passage, reforms have yet to be approved in a parliament plenary session and then completed during the election season. While the bill is awaiting further clarification, Räsänen says that it still fails to address the real problem. The legislation sees gender as detached from biology. However, when gender is defined by an inner experience, it stands as a “detachment from one’s body.”

“If the concept of gender means identity instead of a population group, how can the rights of people belonging to the population group be promoted? Biological sex has formed the basis for equality laws, the purpose of which is to promote the status of women,” she said.

Räsänen is currently facing trial after posting a Tweet that criticised the Lutheran Church’s sponsorship of a gay pride event in June 2022.